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Author Topic: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year  (Read 22244 times)

Lampshade Punk

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #110 on: May 01, 2008, 12:12:52 AM »
The classes I did best at last semester were classes in which I was able to get a sense of the professor's systematic method of analysis. The second best way to do this is to note the questions the professor asks, then, after a month or so, go back and read those questions; you'll pick up on the patterns. The best way is if they just tell you right up front, which some of them will.

Also, don't let the first few weeks of Con Law get to you too much. When you really dig into them, the decisions have a much more arbitrary flavor to them than you'll expect. The trick is to keep in mind that the Court's underlying reasoning (if it's in fact reasoning and not something else) is rarely made explicit in the opinions. By the end of the semester it'll be your favorite class.



not for me!

seconded.  i've convinced myself I don't have a con law final in 6 days.  whatever it takes to get by

SplitFinger

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #111 on: May 01, 2008, 01:45:02 AM »
I'm one more question on one take-home exam away from being a 3L (thank God), so I don't really qualify, but what the hell...

I completely agree that outlining is vastly overrated.  If you take good notes in class (not stenography, but listening to what the professor says and writing down the important stuff)(the more Socratic the professor, the harder this is) then that should be all you need to study for the final.  Read it, know it, put tabs on it by topic so you can find it in a hurry.  I wish I could get back all the hours I spent outlining as a 1L, what a complete waste of time.

Even so, in required classes, it's good to have an outline.  But not yours - get a good one from a 2L or 3L.  One of the best reasons to get involved in organizations (and pick one, maybe two, and get involved - you won't have time for more than that) is so that you can meet upperclassmen who had your professors last year or the year before.  They are gold mines of information and good outlines.  Go through it, tab it just like you did with your class notes, and know how to find the stuff in it. 

Hornbooks are your best friend.  My wife - who got her JD years ago - recommended them to me and I blew her off, thinking that I'd never have time to read them in addition to all the reading I was doing for class.  I wised up this year - get a good hornbook for your class (ask the professor which one he recommends, that's usually a good suggestion) and stick it on the shelf.  If you get confused about something during the semester, pull it out and look it up and you probably won't be confused any more.  When you are preparing for the exam, read the sections that address the topics you covered in class and use them to supplement the notes that you took in class.  The hornbook will tell you what the correct tests are for each issue - that should already be in your notes, but more than once I discovered that I'd written it down wrong when I was getting it in class, or I'd mixed something up.  Buy them used online, but don't get editions that are too old (believe it or not, the law does evolve over the years even in the hoary old core subjects).

Don't be a butthead.  There's really nothing to be gained by acting like a jerk, so be nice.  It will pay dividends down the road.

Share your notes.

Find a passion for something, whether it is journal, moot court, mock trial, a club, whatever.  Volunteer.  Be a leader in it.  It will be a pain in the ass more often than not, but it will help keep you sane.

Get the hell out of the law school as often as possible.

Get to know the deans, professors, and staff.  Say hello.  Make conversation.  The time will come when you will want to ask them for favors, and it will help if you know them and they know you.  You don't have as much control over your grades as you'd like to think you do, but you have lots of control over your reputation.  In the long run, your reputation will get you a lot farther than your law school grades will.  Start working on it now.  You'll be glad you did, and it really doesn't take any effort.

Try to see the humor in things.  Remember that almost everything that happens in law school has an element of the absurd to it.  If you can keep smiling at that, it'll help you get through it with your sanity intact.

Eat good food.  But not too much of it.

If you have to go up or down one floor, take the stairs.

Go outside and look at the stars every now and then.

Try to keep your house/apartment/room relatively neat.  You'll feel more organized if the things that surround you look organized.

When you get a chance, take useful classes.  Try to avoid classes with closed-book exams.

There's more, but I'm going to finish this exam if it kills me.  Best of luck next year to all.
Emory '09

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SCK2008

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #112 on: May 01, 2008, 03:17:58 AM »
I'm one more question on one take-home exam away from being a 3L (thank God), so I don't really qualify, but what the hell...

I completely agree that outlining is vastly overrated.  If you take good notes in class (not stenography, but listening to what the professor says and writing down the important stuff)(the more Socratic the professor, the harder this is) then that should be all you need to study for the final.  Read it, know it, put tabs on it by topic so you can find it in a hurry.  I wish I could get back all the hours I spent outlining as a 1L, what a complete waste of time.

Even so, in required classes, it's good to have an outline.  But not yours - get a good one from a 2L or 3L.  One of the best reasons to get involved in organizations (and pick one, maybe two, and get involved - you won't have time for more than that) is so that you can meet upperclassmen who had your professors last year or the year before.  They are gold mines of information and good outlines.  Go through it, tab it just like you did with your class notes, and know how to find the stuff in it. 

Hornbooks are your best friend.  My wife - who got her JD years ago - recommended them to me and I blew her off, thinking that I'd never have time to read them in addition to all the reading I was doing for class.  I wised up this year - get a good hornbook for your class (ask the professor which one he recommends, that's usually a good suggestion) and stick it on the shelf.  If you get confused about something during the semester, pull it out and look it up and you probably won't be confused any more.  When you are preparing for the exam, read the sections that address the topics you covered in class and use them to supplement the notes that you took in class.  The hornbook will tell you what the correct tests are for each issue - that should already be in your notes, but more than once I discovered that I'd written it down wrong when I was getting it in class, or I'd mixed something up.  Buy them used online, but don't get editions that are too old (believe it or not, the law does evolve over the years even in the hoary old core subjects).

Don't be a butthead.  There's really nothing to be gained by acting like a jerk, so be nice.  It will pay dividends down the road.

Share your notes.

Find a passion for something, whether it is journal, moot court, mock trial, a club, whatever.  Volunteer.  Be a leader in it.  It will be a pain in the ass more often than not, but it will help keep you sane.

Get the hell out of the law school as often as possible.

Get to know the deans, professors, and staff.  Say hello.  Make conversation.  The time will come when you will want to ask them for favors, and it will help if you know them and they know you.  You don't have as much control over your grades as you'd like to think you do, but you have lots of control over your reputation.  In the long run, your reputation will get you a lot farther than your law school grades will.  Start working on it now.  You'll be glad you did, and it really doesn't take any effort.

Try to see the humor in things.  Remember that almost everything that happens in law school has an element of the absurd to it.  If you can keep smiling at that, it'll help you get through it with your sanity intact.

Eat good food.  But not too much of it.

If you have to go up or down one floor, take the stairs.

Go outside and look at the stars every now and then.

Try to keep your house/apartment/room relatively neat.  You'll feel more organized if the things that surround you look organized.

When you get a chance, take useful classes.  Try to avoid classes with closed-book exams.

There's more, but I'm going to finish this exam if it kills me.  Best of luck next year to all.


Interesting point of view.  I like it.
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Papa Bear

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #113 on: May 01, 2008, 09:58:42 AM »
Reasoning is not in the opinions. Why the F not?

Haha! I know. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? It really upset me at first. I thought, "These justices are just making this crap up. They get to decide and it doesn't really have to make sense so long as a majority agree with them."

The Supreme Court has to make tough and final decisions that create wide swaths of societal winners and losers. The cases you will study in Con Law will rarely have clear answers, only arguments. How does one choose which argument is better? By how well it speaks to the decider - how it matches up with ones understanding of how people are, what good government looks like, and how the law is and should be. You might be tempted to chalk it up as merely liberal or conservative leanings, but it's more nuanced than that. I call it "normative subtext."

This normative subtext comes out in the justice's default methods of approach to a case, and it largely defines outcomes (think Scalia and his textualist originalism). Unfortunately, the justices don't adequately explain or justify those default methods, if they talk about them at all. It could be that they cannot fully explain or justify them. Because of this, the decisions, whether you agree with them or not, appear half-reasoned and foundationally arbitrary.

In my experience, what is required for success in Con Law is different than other classes. It's not so much to know the law, though that's a part of it; it's to understand these default analytical approaches and how to apply them to a fact pattern. The most important default approach to learn, however, is your professor's, because if you nail it then your exam will speak to him or her.
"Facts have a well-known liberal bias."

Lampshade Punk

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #114 on: May 01, 2008, 10:05:24 AM »
outlining for the sake of outlining ftl.  outlining does help review the rules and continuity though.  also, outlines make good company when its a late lonely night in the library.  somtimes I snuggle with them.  other times, i just tuck them in into bed then I sleep on the couch in the other room.  sometimes they need their own space.  respect them.

Lampshade Punk

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #115 on: May 01, 2008, 10:06:41 AM »
Reasoning is not in the opinions. Why the F not?

Haha! I know. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? It really upset me at first. I thought, "These justices are just making this crap up. They get to decide and it doesn't really have to make sense so long as a majority agree with them."

The Supreme Court has to make tough and final decisions that create wide swaths of societal winners and losers. The cases you will study in Con Law will rarely have clear answers, only arguments. How does one choose which argument is better? By how well it speaks to the decider - how it matches up with ones understanding of how people are, what good government looks like, and how the law is and should be. You might be tempted to chalk it up as merely liberal or conservative leanings, but it's more nuanced than that. I call it "normative subtext."

This normative subtext comes out in the justice's default methods of approach to a case, and it largely defines outcomes (think Scalia and his textualist originalism). Unfortunately, the justices don't adequately explain or justify those default methods, if they talk about them at all. It could be that they cannot fully explain or justify them. Because of this, the decisions, whether you agree with them or not, appear half-reasoned and foundationally arbitrary.

In my experience, what is required for success in Con Law is different than other classes. It's not so much to know the law, though that's a part of it; it's to understand these default analytical approaches and how to apply them to a fact pattern. The most important default approach to learn, however, is your professor's, because if you nail it then your exam will speak to him or her.

so, i have a con law test in a couple days and I need ALOT OF HELP.  Help?

Alecto

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #116 on: May 01, 2008, 11:44:26 AM »
Don't be a butthead.  There's really nothing to be gained by acting like a jerk, so be nice.  It will pay dividends down the road.

Share your notes.

Find a passion for something, whether it is journal, moot court, mock trial, a club, whatever.  Volunteer.  Be a leader in it.  It will be a pain in the ass more often than not, but it will help keep you sane.

Get the hell out of the law school as often as possible.

Get to know the deans, professors, and staff.  Say hello.  Make conversation.  The time will come when you will want to ask them for favors, and it will help if you know them and they know you.  You don't have as much control over your grades as you'd like to think you do, but you have lots of control over your reputation.  In the long run, your reputation will get you a lot farther than your law school grades will.  Start working on it now.  You'll be glad you did, and it really doesn't take any effort.

Try to see the humor in things.  Remember that almost everything that happens in law school has an element of the absurd to it.  If you can keep smiling at that, it'll help you get through it with your sanity intact.

Eat good food.  But not too much of it.

If you have to go up or down one floor, take the stairs.

Go outside and look at the stars every now and then.

Try to keep your house/apartment/room relatively neat.  You'll feel more organized if the things that surround you look organized.

When you get a chance, take useful classes.  Try to avoid classes with closed-book exams.

There's more, but I'm going to finish this exam if it kills me.  Best of luck next year to all.


Split, can you put these on a pretty poster to sell to 0L's?  I bet you'd make a killing!

SplitFinger

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #117 on: May 01, 2008, 12:11:32 PM »
If it would make me enough bank to pay off my loans, I'd be willing to get them tattooed on my ass.
Emory '09

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #118 on: May 01, 2008, 12:19:20 PM »
Here's one:

Don't brag about your connections. And don't brag about how your attorney/law student family members helped you on your LRW assignment/journal write-on competition, because not only will it piss people off, it's probably an honor code violation.

Eggshell Shin Vosburg

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Re: ITT 1L's give 0L's suggestions for next year
« Reply #119 on: May 06, 2008, 01:12:08 AM »
My advice is not to take any prep classes, listen to advice, but ultimately find your own methods that work.  Don't use 8000 highlighter colors just because LSC recommends it.  Lots of people told me not to brief for class reading.  I say bull - it helps me take better notes in class and saves me time outlining (granted I don't do full briefs).  Then again, briefing may be a waste of time for you.  Basically, the best thing to do is what works for you - the people who get top grades all got those grades in different ways.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Learn what your professor is testing you on.  If he says it will all be fact-pattern/doctrine, don't waste your time on theory and policy.  You will discuss the theory and policy in class, but if the professor says it won't be on the test, skim the reading and don't outline it.  Further, you should have a pretty good feeling what types of questions will be on the test - think about the doctrine and your answer when you are studying, and then on the exam you can just apply the facts to the answer you have already formulated.

You do full briefs? Jesus. No wonder I don't know who you are, you must spend 80000 hours a week studying. Don't waste your time doing this, it's a terrible idea.

Also, that sample brief you provided reminds me why I didn't (and won't) take admin. Awful stuff.

The important stuff you put is key. It's just like any other class you'll take in UG, just learn the materials that are going to be on the test. Use old tests as your biggest guide on what to learn. People who think law school grades are random are the people who can't figure out what the professor wants.

I don't know who came up with the "outline" imperative, but all the 1Ls "ooh" and "aah" over the mystical power of outlining.  I was skeptical, but decided to "OUTLINE" BECAUSE EVERYONE DOES IT!!!  What a terrible idea.  All I know is that for my classes combined, I've spent hours and hours and hours typing up well over 200 pages of crap and used my outline on one exam.  I didn't "outline" in undergrad and did just fine, and I'm not doing another damn outline for a class that I have a take-home exam in.

If your exam is an in-class exam, just write something useful to you.  If not, don't bother.  And what are people doing in the library with flash cards?  Simple memorization will not help you at all.

Just con other people into giving you their outlines. Don't do them yourself. What a waste of time.

For a long take home, you can use your class notes, just use the find feature in word to find what you're looking for. No need to have an outline for that.

Flash cards may work for some people, in terms of knowing what things go together. I don't use them, but I can see where they pay off.

As for the debate about theory / issue tests: Just look at the old exams, and study accordingly.